Lots of full-circle posts as of late, but I don’t mind and hopefully you don’t either. Recently, I registered to take the MCAT, right after I complete my prep class in March. The class is several hours a day, every weekday AND Sundays, and my work has so graciously worked with me to figure out a realistic schedule. The date of the exam didn’t stick out to me when I registered, but it dawned on me once I saw it on the confirmation email.
I am taking the Medical College Admissions Test on March 15. The 3-year anniversary of my stroke. I will be taking an incredibly difficult, grueling, and important test knowing that this is not the worst I have faced. Choosing to fight for my own life, despite the paralysis, deficits, breathing problems, that’s the hardest and most important test of my life. And I passed, with flying colors (in my opinion).
Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly stressed about the MCAT. Right now, to me and other pre-med students, it feels like the single most definitive barrier between us and the rest of our lives. But seeing that date in the email and realizing how it related to me was the perfect reality check. Yes, this test is important. Yes, it will be incredibly hard. But I have seen worse.
My success on this test will largely dictate my eligibility to earn the title of medical doctor. But, in theory, my decision to live and thrive after my accident also affected that same eligibility, among many other things. Throughout the day, I trend more towards panic. I buy into the general feeling of panic and dread associated with the MCAT. I know that there is no logical reason to feel this way, for the reason explained above, but it’s tough to listen to that voice when everything around me is telling me to panic.
It’s three months of hell, but this is the rest of my life we are talking about. And I have known three months of true struggle, and nothing will ever trump that.